Which was the most brilliant of Hannibal's three crushing defeats of Roman armies? What tactics did Julius Caesar employ to defeat Pompey at Pharsalus? How was Alexander the Great able to command sufficient loyalty from his troops to lead them across half of the Asian landmass in search of new territories to conquer? What qualities made Attila the Hun a strategist of genius? How did Henry V of England achieve victory at Agincourt for the loss of a few hundred of his men, when the mounted French knights suffered casualties in the thousands? The answers to these and a myriad other fascinating questions can be found in The Art of War, a sumptuous chronological survey of the 50 greatest commanders of the ancient and medieval worlds. Compiled by an distinguished team of historians (including such names as Robin Lane Fox, Tom Holland, John Julius Norwich, Jonathan Sumption and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto) working under the general editorship of the Andrew Roberts, The Art of War is an authoritative and beautifully illustrated account of the lives and careers of the 50 greatest military commanders of the period, from Julius Caesar to Judas Maccabeus, from Belisarius to Bohemond, and from Trajan to Tamerlane. Every commander is profiled in a concise and informative 3000-word article which not only brings its subject vividly to life via a lively, fact-driven narrative, but also analyses and assesses his tactical and strategic gifts. Each biography is accompanied by a 'battle feature' or 'campaign feature' - embellished by a full-colour battle plan or campaign map - focusing on the commander's greatest battlefield achievement. As accessible and informative as it is rigorous and scholarly, The Art of War is the perfect introduction to its subject for the layperson - but also a stimulating and thought-provoking read for those with greater knowledge of military history. With its companion volume Born to Command, it forms an indispensable guide to the greatest generals the world has seen.
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Andrew Roberts is an eminent historian and writer. His authorial credits include the bestselling A History of English-speaking Peoples since 1900; Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble and Eminent ChurchilliansReview:
Andrew Roberts has assembled an interesting group of authors and contributes a pertinent introduction; a wealth of apposite illustrations and useful battlefield maps complete an excellent volume - Military Illustrated.
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